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With a little help from their friends

The Culver City Dub Collective enlists some heavy hitters on its debut album, 'Dos.'

August 16, 2007|Kevin Bronson

ONE of the most surprising albums to emerge this year from the nooks and crannies of the Los Angeles music scene is largely the work of two guys you'd be surprised work together at all.

"Dos," the debut from the Culver City Dub Collective, grew from a love for reggae and bossa nova shared by drummer-songwriter Adam Topol and guitarist-producer Franchot Tone (grandson of the actor). Not that the project came to fruition quickly -- the pair and their A-list collaborators assembled the album, a labyrinthine mesh of island sounds, jazz and electronica, over four years.

"I'm definitely an advocate of making sure every detail is just right, and I'm sure that made Franchot a little crazy," says Topol, who has been Jack Johnson's drummer since 2000. "But having both those personalities in the same room can be great if they can be kind and polite and make compromises."

Mutual admiration helped too. Says Topol: "I'd bring him my ideas and sketches, and he'd make it sound like a beautiful painting."

A lineup of heavy-hitting guests ensured the details were right. Among the credits: Johnson, Ben Harper, Matt Costa, Money Mark, Piers Facini, Joey Altruda, Winston Jarrett (Studio One), Jay Malinowski (Bedouin Soundclash), David Ralicke (Beck), Merlo Podlewski (Dan the Automator) and Koool G. Murder (Eels). Now that's a collective.

What makes "Dos" distinctive is the fusion of modern electronics and classic rhythms. "The sub-bass was one thing that took it from retro into the realm of being a bit modern," Topol says, "although the drums gave it an organic feel."

And when the CCDC plays Saturday afternoon at the Sunset Junction Street Fair? "It'll be a live band playing an electronic record," Topol says. "It's gonna breathe more. But it's gonna be great."

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Sunset Junction

The 27th annual street festival runs 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and 10 to 10 Sunday, offering music, games, midway rides, art and food. It is held in Silver Lake on Sunset (between the 3900 and 4300 blocks) and Santa Monica (4000 to 4200) boulevards. Tickets are $12 in advance; $15 at the event (12 and younger and 65 and older, free). www.ticketweb.com or www.sunsetjunction.org.

Saturday

Spaceland Stage

4200 Sunset Blvd. at Bates

Noon: Renee Dawson

12:40 p.m.: Division Day

1:30: The Pity Party

2:20: The Parson Red Heads

3:15: Culver City Dub Collective

4:10: The Broken West

5:05: Sea Wolf

6:05: Autolux

7:30: Blonde Redhead

9:20: Ben Harper

Hoover Stage

4200 Santa Monica Blvd.

1 p.m.: Crosby Tyler

2: Ritmo Flamenco

3: Bobby Matos

4:30: Raks Majnoun

5:30: Renaissance

7: The Emotions

8: Deniece Williams

9: Morris Day & The Time

Sanborn Stage

4000 Sunset Blvd.

11 a.m.: Silverlake Conservatory of Music

2 p.m.: DJ Sloe Poke

3:30: The Lions

5, Breakestra

6:30: Sy Smith

8, Medusa

9:30: Jesse de la Peña

Sunday

Spaceland Stage

4200 Sunset Blvd. at Bates

Noon: Tawny Ellis

12:40 p.m.: Eskimohunter

1:30: The Movies

2:20: The Airborne Toxic Event

3:10: The Aggrolites

4:05: The Bronx

5:15: Hot Hot Heat

6:45: Buzzcocks

8:35: She Wants Revenge

Hoover Stage

4200 Santa Monica Blvd.

1 p.m.: Cuahtemoc

2: Mesmera

3: Vilma Diaz (the voice of La Sonora Dinamita)

5:30: Thelma Jones with Arthur Adams

7: Millie Jackson

8:30: The O'Jays

Sanborn Stage

4000 Sunset

11 a.m.: Silverlake Conservatory of Music

2: Eric Coleman

3:30: Balfete

5: Conjunto Jardin

6:30: Rocky Dawuni

8: Cheb i Sabbah

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